Koffee with Karina and Ashley Lennon: How to start blogging!

I am so excited to welcome you to the first ever Koffee with Karina! I will be uploading a new interview every Friday! Today, I will be interviewing Ashley Lennon, from the lifestyle and beauty blog, Hiyaitsashley.

Ashley Lennon is the creator and writer of Hiyaitsashley, a beauty, lifestyle and food blog. She is a makeup addict who loves trying out new products! Although, she confesses that because horror and gore are her favorite genres, special effects makeup is where her heart is.  She has been blogging for two-years and has a lot to share about her experience!

What inspired you to start this blogging journey?
Ever since I was about 14/15 years-old, I have been obsessed with YouTube, and I always wanted to be a YouTuber, but haven't quite had the courage, so when I started college I studied Media and it was suggested I take up blogging to enhance my portfolio and show my skills. I jumped at the chance, writing a blog was much less scary to me than being on camera. I started my blog in 2014 to help build my work and show off my skills to potential employers and universities, but also to build my own confidence, get myself out there and start doing something I had always wanted to do. About 2/3 months into blogging I realized I was no longer doing it for my work portfolio, I was doing it because I loved it and it was my passion, as it continues to be.

Was it hard for you to build an audience these past years? How’d you do it?
It was fairly hard in the beginning, establishing yourself as a new blogger can be tough, especially now that blogging is such a popular thing and there are SO many bloggers. It's wonderful that there are so many bloggers and so many people are this passionate, but it can be tough on smaller bloggers too. I try hard to keep my content fresh, my blog appealing and my social media/interaction with other bloggers very high.
Posts Ashley has made on building an audience:
How To Catch People's Eye With Your Blog
Tips For Increasing Your Blog Traffic

How do you plan your blog posts and themes?
I'm pretty varied on my blog, I post about whatever is inspiring me then and there, I don't always plan ahead. A lot of the time if I have particular things coming up, maybe opportunities I've been lucky enough to get I'll have those planned. For example, when I'm asked to review a restaurant or some makeup products, I will plan when I am going to the restaurant or receiving the products and plan the post to go up a day or two afterwards. With other posts mostly I choose my topics when I sit down to write so it's fresh and what is currently in my head then and inspiring me.

Congratulations on two years of blogging! What have you learned during these past two years of blogging?
Thank you! I have learned so much, I'm so grateful. I've learned mostly that good things take time, patience and hard work are a blogger's best friend. I've learned that you have to work extremely hard and be present with your blog, and that you don't have to worry about what anyone says or thinks. Personally, I've learned to be so much more confident in myself and my work, which has been a huge step for me, and something I'll always be grateful for and proud of.

I have to ask! Now, I am a very positive person but, I have to know! Is there anything that surprised you about becoming a blogger? Something that you imagined would be completely different?
Honestly, I really didn't think getting an audience would be difficult at first. I thought "there are are so many nice bloggers, and people love blogs, getting readers will be pretty easy" but I was wrong! There are so many amazing bloggers and people do love blogs, but the sheer amount of content means if you're not giving it your all, you're not being noticed. There are so many bloggers and blogs if you're not making any effort people will just go elsewhere, but I'm kind of glad it's that way now, as it has encouraged me to put 110% into my blog and not slack off.

What three apps you think every blogger needs in their life? 
If you use Blogger as your platform and you blog on the go, you NEED BlogGo, this app is my holy grail. The blogger app is horrendous but this one is perfect. It lets you change text size, fonts, you can add images, page breaks, links, align text and edit HTML for a post, it's amazing, you can do almost anything you can on the webpage on this app.
Buffer is a must for bloggers for scheduling tweets, it's helped my blog so much since using this as I can set up promo tweets, etc. and not have to remember to post about my blog posts when I'm busy or asleep, the app does it for me.
Bloglovin' is another must have, it's amazing for keeping track of your favourite blogs and monitoring your followers as well under one app!

American Horror Story: Freak Show
Scream TV Show: the 4 films are my favourites so this series was something I HAD to watch, finished the first season in a day
Once Upon A Time: it's based on Disney and fairytales, it's honestly the most incredible show I've watched to date, it's amazing, I'm obsessed!
All three of the shows are available on Netflix so do make sure to check them out if they sound like you type of thing!
MAC Taupe lipstick
They're Real! Mascara from Benefit

Blog: http://www.hiyaitsashley.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hiyaitsashley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hiyaitsashley/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_hiyaitsashley/

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